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Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

pmeyer's Avatar pmeyer
12:34 PM Liked: 12
post #631 of 1488
11-26-2008 | Posts: 1,225
Joined: Jan 2007
I figured out why my cans weren't dimming equally: two of them had fluorescent bulbs in them! Quickly fixed.

Also, useful note for anybody doing the double box solution: blank 4-gang cover plates are *NOT* easy to find. I couldn't find them at HD or Lowes. The first electrical supply place I went to didn't have them.

At the second place, the guy played on the computer for a while and went back to the racks several times. At first, he found a 4 gang switch plate that would work, with 4 'switch blank' type plugs to fill the switch holes. He said that was a fallback if he couldn't find one. Eventually he found a beige plastic 4-gang blank cover. $6.

Moral of the story: if you order one of the big four gang boxes online to do a double box solution, buy the cover plate at the same time.

Or, make the 'other box' a triple box. You don't really need the full 4-gang box for the second box, although it does give plenty of room.
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
12:32 PM Liked: 10
post #632 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Okay, so I spent half of Saturday wiring up lighting, and installing my G-E 3106, and a wall station outside of the room. They all work FLAWLESSLY, aside from the fact that I have 4 zones still to complete installs on.

Pointer to those roughing in wiring: Run the power cable on he LEFT side of the gang box (while facing the box). I had run mine on the right side, and my wires were a smidge short for comfort.

Question: For some reason, my Harmony 880 is not controlling the GE, even though I (thought that I...) programmed it to do so. Am I missing some trick? I set a custom command to goto Scene 2 when you hit "Play," and Scene 3 when you hit "Pause," but it does nothing.

Any help with this?
oman321's Avatar oman321
01:09 PM Liked: 40
post #633 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 4,781
Joined: Sep 2005
Hey Java,

Did you select the custom scene as the command or did you select play or pause as the command. When you create a sequence you need to select this as the device I believe and then you will have a listing of the sequences which you created.
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
01:36 PM Liked: 10
post #634 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

Hey Java,

Did you select the custom scene as the command or did you select play or pause as the command. When you create a sequence you need to select this as the device I believe and then you will have a listing of the sequences which you created.

I just set up commands in the 'Light Controller' menus at the Harmony site for programming my remote... I think it's called 'device modes.' Maybe I'm missing something, or need some sort of macro?
oman321's Avatar oman321
02:31 PM Liked: 40
post #635 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 4,781
Joined: Sep 2005
I'm not able to log in right now to see what it looks like (been a while) but you need to go into the activity you want to set and select customize buttons. At the bottom their should be an "add a sequence" command. Once in this page it will allow to set up a sequence with the devices in that activity, so device DVD player command play, device Light controller command lights off. I would name this sequence Play Lghts Off so not to confuse it with just play. Then you go back to customize buttons and now you tell the hard button function "play" to use device "sequence" and then the command would be "Play Lghts Off". Hope this helps.
Dennis Erskine's Avatar Dennis Erskine
03:01 PM Liked: 50
post #636 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 9,143
Joined: Jul 1999
You can also have a Pause sequence...which can automagically bring the lights up when you press "pause"
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
09:12 PM Liked: 10
post #637 of 1488
12-01-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

You can also have a Pause sequence...which can automagically bring the lights up when you press "pause"

Precisely what I'm attempting. Thanks gents, I'll poke around with sequences.
gigimonagas's Avatar gigimonagas
07:23 PM Liked: 11
post #638 of 1488
12-04-2008 | Posts: 146
Joined: Aug 2007
A couple questions for the experts:

I own a Marantz RC9001 remote control along with the RX9001 control processor. I bought a Graffik Eye 2404 to control it with my remote:

1. Can I connect my Graffik Eye to the RX9001 via rs232 or I'll have to place an IR emitter on the outside plate to be able to control it?

2. My Graffik Eye on the back plate says "1234" and has some kind of sponge. Is this where the cable (a Cat5 for example from the processor) attaches to the Graffik Eye?

I'm new to this, but I've already hire a professional to program the control. I just want to if I bought the right Graffik Eye.

Thanks in advance,
DMF's Avatar DMF
10:10 AM Liked: 13
post #639 of 1488
12-11-2008 | Posts: 7,811
Joined: Nov 2003
You might try reading the installation instructions that came with your unit. They cover most installation options.
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
11:44 AM Liked: 10
post #640 of 1488
12-19-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Gah I'm still stumped on the controlling of my 3106 by my Harmony 880. I set up sequences, for when I press PLAY and PAUSE, but the lighting doesn't change. I'm either doing it wrong, or I'm missing some IR component possibly for the 3106?

Can someone give me some pointers? Here's a screenshot of the harmony page where I set up some sequences...

smakovits's Avatar smakovits
03:29 PM Liked: 12
post #641 of 1488
12-21-2008 | Posts: 2,088
Joined: May 2007
Do I need to use the "drain wire" I am trying to get my GE 3106 in place today. I have one wall station and the GE control wire. I have learned the the wires in the shielding are the MUX wires and the other two are power. I can put them in any order as long as it is the same on each end...the 2 mux go to 3/4 and the red and black to 1/2. but I still have the drain wire. Is the drain wire not required in a single wall station setup. I am thinking this is the case from what I am reading, but I figure it is always best to get confirmation. Thanks.
pmeyer's Avatar pmeyer
07:39 PM Liked: 12
post #642 of 1488
12-21-2008 | Posts: 1,225
Joined: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by smakovits View Post

Do I need to use the "drain wire" I am trying to get my GE 3106 in place today. I have one wall station and the GE control wire. I have learned the the wires in the shielding are the MUX wires and the other two are power. I can put them in any order as long as it is the same on each end...the 2 mux go to 3/4 and the red and black to 1/2. but I still have the drain wire. Is the drain wire not required in a single wall station setup. I am thinking this is the case from what I am reading, but I figure it is always best to get confirmation. Thanks.

On the 6 zone QS and a see touch controller, I did not use the 5th wire. The power, ground, and the twisted pair were all I wired up.
smakovits's Avatar smakovits
10:12 PM Liked: 12
post #643 of 1488
12-21-2008 | Posts: 2,088
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeyer View Post

On the 6 zone QS and a see touch controller, I did not use the 5th wire. The power, ground, and the twisted pair were all I wired up.

Yeah after reading the manual 5 time I saw the fine print that mentioned the bare wire is only to be used if I have a "d" port thingy to put it into...I know, real technical there.

So yeah, I didnt use it either and everything turned out great. Now I need to program the thing.
smakovits's Avatar smakovits
04:27 AM Liked: 12
post #644 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 2,088
Joined: May 2007
Just want to confirm something as being normal...I have done no programming yet of my 3106, but I have messed with it and want to make sure that the clicking I hear when it turn on and then off is normal. not while dimming, just a click on and then when going to full off, click. Just need the piece of mind that this is normal, it seems normal, but you know how that goes.
will1383's Avatar will1383
11:16 AM Liked: 10
post #645 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 544
Joined: Oct 2008
Both my 3106 and 3104 do the same thing. My guess is there's a relay that switches off the power to all the zones when you hit the master off button.
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
11:57 AM Liked: 10
post #646 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Okay, I figured out the 'sequence' thing by using my ginormous brain. Okay... my 13yr old daughter helped.

I had made the sequences correctly, but instead of sending a "Play" command from the remote, you have to change the 'Play' command to be the sequence named "play," or whatever you named it. It works great. I also got it to send a power toggle upon exiting the DVD activity, so that my Panny PJ will power down.

Sweet, the lighting control made my day!

I set it to bring some lights up a bit when I hit "Mute" but I need to figure out a way to get it to dim them again after I hit "Mute" again. I know.. it's a remote issue, and not a GE issue.
will1383's Avatar will1383
12:10 PM Liked: 10
post #647 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 544
Joined: Oct 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by javadoc View Post

Okay, I figured out the 'sequence' thing by using my ginormous brain. Okay... my 13yr old daughter helped.

I had made the sequences correctly, but instead of sending a "Play" command from the remote, you have to change the 'Play' command to be the sequence named "play," or whatever you named it. It works great. I also got it to send a power toggle upon exiting the DVD activity, so that my Panny PJ will power down.

Make sure you put a delay in to allow the projector to run the fans and cool off before shutting down completely.

Quote:



Sweet, the lighting control made my day!

I set it to bring some lights up a bit when I hit "Mute" but I need to figure out a way to get it to dim them again after I hit "Mute" again. I know.. it's a remote issue, and not a GE issue.

The sequences, how do you make them? Did you create 3-4 scenes in your grafik eye, then macro them together on the remote, or is there something in the grafik eye that allows you to do multiple things together in a single scene (turn one zone off instantly, bring another zone up using the dimmer capability).

I haven't programmed my controllers yet. I'm going to begin doing that this weekend.
javadoc's Avatar javadoc
01:57 PM Liked: 10
post #648 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 419
Joined: Jun 2005
Will, you first program your scenes on the GE. Then, you create sequences when programming the remote. So for my "Play" sequence, I have it sending a play command to the DVD player, and setting the lighting to Scene 2, which I just have some basic floor lighting on.
will1383's Avatar will1383
02:19 PM Liked: 10
post #649 of 1488
12-23-2008 | Posts: 544
Joined: Oct 2008
Ok, that's what i thought I needed to do, but I wasn't positive. Wish I had more than 16 scenes available in it. Although, I do have a GRX-RS232 and I haven't yet begun to figure out what I can do beyond using the scenes or programming that up.
DMF's Avatar DMF
03:18 PM Liked: 13
post #650 of 1488
12-25-2008 | Posts: 7,811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smakovits View Post

Yeah after reading the manual 5 time I saw the fine print that mentioned the bare wire is only to be used if I have a "d" port thingy to put it into...I know, real technical there.

You shouldn't "not use" the drain wire. It is attached to the foil shield inside the jacket of the cable and should be tied to Ground at one point and one point only along the cable run. If you have two data cables terminating at the same station or control unit (a daisy chain) the two drain wires should be spliced to each other. The single Ground connection could be at either end or in the middle.

I like to ground the drain where the power supply for the logic bus is. The GE itself will provide enough power for 3 (?) additional units like wall stations. More than that and you need to add an external 12V wall wart (transformer)*. I connect the drain to the same ground as the GE or the wall wart (if there is one).


* Radio Shack has a 12V 1A wall wart for about $18. Electrically the same as Lutron would supply for much more.
smakovits's Avatar smakovits
11:03 PM Liked: 12
post #651 of 1488
12-25-2008 | Posts: 2,088
Joined: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

You shouldn't "not use" the drain wire. It is attached to the foil shield inside the jacket of the cable and should be tied to Ground at one point and one point only along the cable run. If you have two data cables terminating at the same station or control unit (a daisy chain) the two drain wires should be spliced to each other. The single Ground connection could be at either end or in the middle.

I like to ground the drain where the power supply for the logic bus is. The GE itself will provide enough power for 3 (?) additional units like wall stations. More than that and you need to add an external 12V wall wart (transformer)*. I connect the drain to the same ground as the GE or the wall wart (if there is one).


* Radio Shack has a 12V 1A wall wart for about $18. Electrically the same as Lutron would supply for much more.

So when the manual says to connect the drain to D but I dont have one, I need to connect to a ground? Why in the world are they so vague on this? What does the drain actually do? I have just the one wall station with no external power, just from the GE. Is this an electrical grounding? Now that everything is nicely in place I would hate to go having to pull things out, but if I really do need at least one end grounded, I will connect the drain at my wall station to the ground/bare copper for that comes for my normal dimmer that is in there. I have to replace the one that is in there now, so thjis would be the easier of the two since i dont feel like screwing with the 40 million wires in the box at the GE 3106.
Johnsteph10's Avatar Johnsteph10
12:21 PM Liked: 21
post #652 of 1488
12-28-2008 | Posts: 4,288
Joined: Aug 2004
Just installed the 3106 as one of the last parts in finishing the electrical phase as I build my HT.

This thing is incredibly sharp and is absolutely cool!
DMF's Avatar DMF
01:09 PM Liked: 13
post #653 of 1488
12-29-2008 | Posts: 7,811
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by smakovits View Post

So when the manual says to connect the drain to D but I dont have one, I need to connect to a ground? Why in the world are they so vague on this? What does the drain actually do? I have just the one wall station with no external power, just from the GE. Is this an electrical grounding?

I rather think they expect the installer to have a more sophisticated understanding of electrical engineering than many installers do. The foil shield is just like the shield in your audio cables. If it's not grounded then the ambient electromagnetic fields can create a voltage potential between the shield and the signal wires. That voltage differential also has an electrical field and represents leakage of the fields outside the shield. The result is noise - maybe not at the full intensity you would get with the absence of a shield, but noise nonetheless.

Think of it this way. An ungrounded shield is less effective than a properly grounded one. Do you really need to ground it? No way to say. You could be fine with a floating ground. On a data line it's kinda hard to tell.

FYI, grounding at more than one point introduces the potential for ground loops.

Quote:


Now that everything is nicely in place I would hate to go having to pull things out, but if I really do need at least one end grounded, I will connect the drain at my wall station to the ground/bare copper for that comes for my normal dimmer that is in there.

I would connect it. A foreign ground isn't optimal, but in theory it is at the same potential as the ground for the GE, especially if they're on the same breaker.
Dennis Erskine's Avatar Dennis Erskine
01:16 PM Liked: 50
post #654 of 1488
12-29-2008 | Posts: 9,143
Joined: Jul 1999
Aluminium foil shields are not helpful for electromagnetic induced problems (if you actually have any).
Johnsteph10's Avatar Johnsteph10
06:14 PM Liked: 21
post #655 of 1488
12-31-2008 | Posts: 4,288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Aluminium foil shields are not helpful for electromagnetic induced problems (if you actually have any).

...but they sure keep the alien mind control messages from getting in my head.
smakovits's Avatar smakovits
10:52 PM Liked: 12
post #656 of 1488
01-03-2009 | Posts: 2,088
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

I rather think they expect the installer to have a more sophisticated understanding of electrical engineering than many installers do. The foil shield is just like the shield in your audio cables. If it's not grounded then the ambient electromagnetic fields can create a voltage potential between the shield and the signal wires. That voltage differential also has an electrical field and represents leakage of the fields outside the shield. The result is noise - maybe not at the full intensity you would get with the absence of a shield, but noise nonetheless.

Think of it this way. An ungrounded shield is less effective than a properly grounded one. Do you really need to ground it? No way to say. You could be fine with a floating ground. On a data line it's kinda hard to tell.

FYI, grounding at more than one point introduces the potential for ground loops.


I would connect it. A foreign ground isn't optimal, but in theory it is at the same potential as the ground for the GE, especially if they're on the same breaker.

I was just reading in the manual and after missing it about 5 times I found a part where it says, "If shielded wire is used, the drain wires must be connected to each other or to Terminal D, if present. Drain wires should not be connected to earth/ground." I have just one wall station and the 3106, the way I read it is that since I do not have a terminal D I should not connect the drain wire to anything because the only thing left is the earth ground... Is this right?
pmeyer's Avatar pmeyer
11:13 AM Liked: 12
post #657 of 1488
01-04-2009 | Posts: 1,225
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I've got my GE 6-zone QS integrated with my setup now. A few things I learned might be helpful to others:

1) the IR input port polarity *does* seem to matter for me. At one point during my setup debug, I had the mini-plug to GE polarity reversed ('comm' connected to the tip of the miniplug rather than the sheath). At that point, the GE control didn't work. When I reversed the polarity, it did, nothing else changing.

The polarity that worked for me (connecting to my Buffalo IR block via mono-mini-plug) was IR-Data to the mini-plug tip, IR-Comm to the mini-plug sheath.

This makes sense (mini-plug sheath is typically 'ground'), but seems to contradict what somebody above heard from Lutron support (that polarity didn't matter). YMMV.

2) When I first connected my GE to the Buffalo IR block as a flasher, all the flashers in my system (and the green LED on the block) went solid on, indicating a ground problem or major noise in the system. IR control still worked to some devices, but it was flaky. Poking around, I realized that if I touched the outer metal of my IR receiver (they 'eye'), the flashers all went off. I wasn't grounded, so it seemed like a capacitive issue.

For the heck of it, I tried running a separate ground wire (from a nearby receptacle on the same circuit as the IR repeater, different circuit from the GE) to the outer case of my IR receiver eye. It worked. All the flashers went off, and my IR control works fine for everything.

When in doubt, try playing with grounds.

3) I got my Harmony remote programmed up. The advice above worked:
  • pick the activity you are interested in
  • go to 'customize buttons'
  • click 'add a sequence'
  • create a sequence labeled 'play'
  • - add step 'lights' -> 'scene 2'
  • - add step 'PS3' -> 'play'
  • Assign the 'play' button to the 'sequence' 'play'

I set it up so that 'play' triggers scene 2 (all off except dim rope lights and step lights), 'pause' triggers scene 3 (medium lights for getting around without blasting your eyes.

I also went in and added 'lights' and 'dim' as the bottom two touch screen buttons in each of the activities.

When I tried it out, I realized two things:
1) I need to add 'scene 3' to the STOP button as well, and
2) When I'm done with a movie or cable, I typically just hit the Harmony 'power off' button, which turns off the ps3/rs20/receiver. This was leaving the lights off.

So, I went back and added a stop sequence just like play and pause.

I also went into each of my activities, found the 'when you leave this activity' section, and added a 'lights' -> 'scene 3' command. If I power down, lights should now come up.

Minor problem, if I switch from one activity (DVD) to another (Cable), the lights will come up. Since I have a 'dim' touch screen button on the front page of each activity, this is only a minor inconvenience.

Hope this saves somebody else a bit of debugging. I spent about four frustrating hours yesterday debugging the polarity/noise issue...
oman321's Avatar oman321
06:59 AM Liked: 40
post #658 of 1488
01-05-2009 | Posts: 4,781
Joined: Sep 2005
Good stuff Pmeyer,

I'm using buffalo IR reciever with my xantech block and they work great but I am getting some flashing of my IR emitters and sometimes they are lit solid. They respond fine, I haven't had an issue with missed commands and I discovered that they are sensitve to regular lighting. If my lights are dim the emitters will blink, if they are all the way up they appear to be on solid but are probably blinking really fast. With the lights off no blinking.

Just to be clear, you ran the ground which is part of the voltage and signal connection and then ran a seperate ground to the outer metal case. I'll have to try this and see if it has any effect on my receivers.

Also to solve your lights rising up issue between commands you should set your lights to a setting of always on. It seems like when you come in you pick your own command or you can still send a scene command at the start of your most common activities. I have mine set to always on and my GE is at the entrance of my HT so I get to pick my command, switching between activities leaves the lighting right where it's at.
pmeyer's Avatar pmeyer
08:03 AM Liked: 12
post #659 of 1488
01-05-2009 | Posts: 1,225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 View Post

Good stuff Pmeyer,
Just to be clear, you ran the ground which is part of the voltage and signal connection and then ran a seperate ground to the outer metal case. I'll have to try this and see if it has any effect on my receivers.

This is correct. Between the IR receiver and the IR 'amplifier' or whatever, I have a 30' Cat5 run. The v+ and signal share one twisted pair, and ground has both wires of another twisted pair (as recommended by Buffalo). With this, I get lots of noise when I plug in my GE.

If I run a separate 3' ground from my IR receiver 'eye' casing to a nearby outlet, my noise problem disappears. No idea why.

Quote:


Also to solve your lights rising up issue between commands you should set your lights to a setting of always on. It seems like when you come in you pick your own command or you can still send a scene command at the start of your most common activities. I have mine set to always on and my GE is at the entrance of my HT so I get to pick my command, switching between activities leaves the lighting right where it's at.

I don't think I followed that.

What I really want is:
1) When I walk in the theater, I hit the button and turn on the lights (Scene #1)
2) When I enter an activity for the first time (warming up the projector, etc.) the lights are not affected, or go to scene #1.
3) When I hit play, the lights go dim. (scene #2)
4) When I switch from one activity to another, lights stay dim.
5) When I quit (leave an activity without entering another), lights go up.

The problem I have now is that I don't see a way to tie something to the 'power off' button. I can tie a light command to leaving or entering an activity, but if I do that it's hard to get both 4 and 5.

Thinking about it since the original post, I'm not sure it's really a problem. When I switch activities (e.g. going from TV to a DVD) I probably want the lights to come up anyway. I'll be futzing around finding a channel, or putting in a DVD, or whatever. I can hit the dim button (or play) when I'm ready to go.

I'll even map the 'play' button to dim the lights in normal TV watching mode, to be consistent.
oman321's Avatar oman321
08:49 AM Liked: 40
post #660 of 1488
01-05-2009 | Posts: 4,781
Joined: Sep 2005
Ok, I thought the lights coming up between activities would be an issue but they might be in your favor if like you said you'll need to get a DVD or something.

Hmm... now that I think about it, if you don't set the lights to "always on" when you exit an activity by hitting off you will raise your lights then go to off. So lights going up at the end of an activity should also work if you set lights to always on and then add the command at the end of every activity to raise lights to your desired scene when exiting.
I know your going to the desired scene by hitting stop but if your watching live tv you wouldn't necessarily hit off.

It's been a while since I've gone in to do programming but I believe this is what you need to get the lights to raise and stay on when you hit off. I take it your lights are turning off when you hit off?

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